Organ Donations Critically Needed For Little Riley

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Riley wanting to go out and play with the other children. But he can not.

Riley wanting to go out and play with the other children.

A four-year-old boy named Riley O’Brien needs a heart and two lungs transplanted as soon as possible. In fact, he’s needed the organ donations  for his entire life, starting before he was even born. During his mother’s 22 week pregnancy checkup, the doctor realized there was a problem. Carol O’Brien’s baby boy was diagnosed with Heterotaxy Syndrome and Congenital heart disease before he was even born. Naturally, the O’Brien’s were devastated with this diagnosis. “Our son had a 50% survival rate” Carol O’Brien said.  

Riley surprised everyone. He beat the odds and is still fighting for his life. He has been on the national organ transplant wait-list since November 2009. Under the care of Doctor Rome from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, he has endured 26 heart cath procedures. How many more Riley can handle is questionable for his veins and body are growing weaker. Riley is on oxygen 24/7. But if he doesn’t get his transplant soon he may not qualify—he’ll be too weak for the transplant operation.

So what’s the hang-up? Why is it taking so long to help a child and family who are suffering so much? To put it simply, the organs are simply not available, or when they have been the heart and two lungs were not acceptable. How can this change? Sign up to be an organ donor through their Department of Motor Vehicles or

According to Medscape, “Improved public and physician awareness of donor issues is the most important factor in increasing the donor supply because many potential donors are not identified as such.” And according to, “About 35% of them (people needing a transplant) die before a heart becomes available. Only about 2,000 heart transplants are done each year in North America, the major reason is lack of donors. Because of the severe shortage of organs, combined heart and lung transplants are rare (less than 20 per year are done in North America)”.

Read more:


Anna Timone (195 Posts)

Speak Your Mind